5 places to visit in Italy with a car rental’a boat
To make the most of the coasts of Western Italy, I recommend renting a boat to sail on the Mediterranean to discover archipelagos with idyllic landscapes and charming coastal villages characteristic of this part of the country.
Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure
On the coasts of Liguria, passing by Santa Margherita Ligure, a sophisticated seaside resort, you will find Portofino. It is a singular village with pastel colors, surrounded by vegetation. It is currently not accessible by car, which makes it look like the end of the world.
A walk on the promontories will lead you to the historical buildings with a breathtaking view on the village and its adorable little port.
The Cinque Terre
The national park of Cinque Terre is really not to be missed ! The view of these famous fishing villages from the sea is enchanting. Monterrosso al mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Their colorful houses are perched on the side of the cliff, overlooking charming little creeks.
It is a real pleasure to walk through the narrow streets in the heart of the villages and the surrounding paths that offer sensational views.
distant view of Manarola
Porto Venere and its Archipelago
In the south of Liguria, not far from the port city of La Spezia, Porto Venere is a small coastal hamlet with a medieval feel. Offshore, its regional park includes an archipelago of 3 islands: Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto. Accessible only by boat, each island has treasures to offer.
The island of Palmaria is the biggest one, a pedestrian path allows to make the tour in one day.
The Tuscan Archipelago and the island of Elba
A little further south, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, between Corsica and Tuscany, the Tuscan archipelago is composed of seven main islands: Elba, Giglio, Capraia, Montecristo, Pianosa, Giannutri and Gorgona and several islets. Each of these islands has its own characteristics, most of them are still wild and natural, the archipelago being a protected national park. It is also the largest marine park in Europe, which allows you to observe exceptional marine flora and fauna.
The island of Elba is the largest island, its capital, Portoferraio, offers beautiful beaches and picturesque, cheerful and lively streets. The arrival by boat on the bay surrounded by fortresses is sublime ! Moreover, the port is a safe refuge in case of rough sea.
Sardinia and the Archipelago of Maddalena
The island of Sardinia is a real jewel, rather rural and preserved, between its mountains and its beaches, it is of a fascinating beauty.
By boat, the whole coast is worth a visit, especially the archipelago of Maddalena in the northwest of Sardinia. It is located off the famous Smeralda coast or Emerald Coast, popular and trendy place, ideal for festive outings. The National Park of Maddalena consists of seven islands; Maddalena, Caprera, Spargi, Santo Stefano, Budelli, Santa Maria and Razzolli, as well as about sixty rocky islets.
The landscapes are paradisiacal with granite rocks and white sandy shores that border a turquoise and emerald sea. Maddalena is the largest island of the archipelago and the only inhabited one. A bridge allows you to reach directly the island of Caprera which certainly include the most beautiful beaches of which the famous Cala Coticcio.
In the northwest of Sardinia, the island of Asinara National Park is a natural reserve to be discovered for its fishermen villages and the flora of its virgin landscapes. You can walk along some of the most beautiful footpaths in Sardinia.
In the south-east, you can discover the island of Tavolara a limestone massif that overlooks beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters, as well as the uninhabited islet of Figarolo. Just above the Golfo Aranci, allows you to observe a colony of dolphins that has taken up residence there !
A little further south, still on the east coast of Sardinia, the Gulf of Orosei is a marvel accessible almost exclusively by boat. I advise you to visit its numerous caves and its beach of Cala Mariolu.
To the west, the bay of Bosa is worth a visit for the exceptional color of its waters and its breathtaking view of the island’s cliffs.
Finally, don’t miss the exceptional panorama of the Golf of Cagliari all the way to the south.